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UK/US queue

UK/US queue

UK/US queue

(OP)
I'm aware that queue is not used in US English to describe the favourite pass-time of we Brits (a.k.a waiting in line). Why is it still used for decribing the exact same process, when it's computer jobs "waiting in line"? Seems very inconsistent.

- Steve

RE: UK/US queue

Wondered about this myself, and what conditions occurred here in the US to cause its lack of use. I was in Europe somewhere once (France, maybe?), in a crowd to get some service, and a Brit Dad told his kids, "Right, now, up to the front...these people don't queue." Odd to an American, but completely understandable.

Perhaps because "queue" is a single word that is very descriptive and therefore efficient. It also has common use in Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering analysis here in the US.

TygerDawg
Blue Technik LLC
Virtuoso Robotics Engineering
www.bluetechnik.com

RE: UK/US queue

I hear "queue" used occasionally here in the US to describe a line of people. More often, though, the word "line" is chosen.

Best to you,

Goober Dave

Haven't see the forum policies? Do so now: Forum Policies

RE: UK/US queue

The construct "in line" (later to morph to "on line" and then back again) and "queue" as a verb seem to have developed independently (i.e., there was apparently less lining up in the 1600's than there is today so as bureaucracy was employed to address inefficiencies in providing goods and services to large numbers of people, the two culture's languages evolved separately.

My first exposure to "queueing theory" for computer processes was in the 1970's in an article written by a Britt for Scientific American. It seems that by the time people were starting to develop the language of computing many of the things that have led to the segregation of the language (i.e., time and distance factors for communication) had become somewhat eroded and this 20th century technology could get words and concepts from wherever they were best explained.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual. ùGalileo Galilei, Italian Physicist

RE: UK/US queue

(OP)
Hmm, the etymology of "queue" is more interesting than I thought. Quite a new word indeed. I wonder how it's used in other former British colonies.

- Steve

RE: UK/US queue

I worked 14 years for a British company's American subsidiary and we always had few guys from the 'home office' working there so we all got a good grounding in the Queen's English including some of the more obscure slang. And yes, occasionally I'll hear the term 'queue' used here, but being in SoCal we have lots of immigrants, some from the UK and others from Commonwealth countries or ones which were once British colonies and many of these people learned to speak that same 'Queen's English'.

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Digital Factory
Cypress, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: UK/US queue

As an Aussie, inline and queue is/can be interchangeable, however it can also be very specific depending on the intended message being presented.
In line might be used by the kindergarten teacher to the kids, "please form a line here and we will get on the bus", implying - be orderly and take your turn, whereas "I had to queue to buy a train ticket this morning" this infers a wait to buy your ticket.

As said, interchangeable - meaning it depends on you, your thoughts at the time, your implied message.

It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts. (Sherlock Holmes - A Scandal in Bohemia.)

RE: UK/US queue

Queue is one of those strange words that is sometimes spelt as que. When I was a wee lad, I used to spell it as cue, until I was told that that meant something else - yet another word with a few meanings.

RE: UK/US queue

The french word "queue" means tail. I've been to France. They don't form neat lines when they wait.
But it is an apt description of the way the British look as they wait for the bus.
Canadians prefer to queue only for important things, like their Timmy's coffee.
Americans, those that can't spell, just deserve the cue.

STF

RE: UK/US queue

I was told once, by an Israeli, that in Israel no one ever stands in line (queues up) but when it comes time to actually do whatever it was that they were all waiting for that there seems to be an innate understanding as to who should go first, second, third and so on. Since I've never been to Israel I can't attest to this personally, but the person who told me should have known since he had lived there most of his life.

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Digital Factory
Cypress, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: UK/US queue

Getting on a ski shuttle bus in Europe for the first time was an interesting exercise. The driver screamed that no skis were allowed in the bus. Being an obedient American I put my skis in the outside ski rack on the back of the bus. Most of the Europeans ignored this and boarded the bus with their skis in hand, pushing & shoving anyone smaller out of the way. I was barely able to force myself aboard before the bus took off. The English were left standing there because they tried to queue up with their family members. Not sure if any of the Europeans left their children behind to fend for themselves but I think so.

The next day I also boarded the bus with skis in hand. When in Rome ...

----------------------------------------

The Help for this program was created in Windows Help format, which depends on a feature that isn't included in this version of Windows.

RE: UK/US queue

I've been to Israel. I was the only one without a gun, so I boarded last.

Used to live in Germany. Funny story often told, especially the Oberfranken, was that back in WWI when the Germans sent the sealed train to taken Lenin and his communist buddies to Russia, most of the German communists didn't board because there was no one there to tell them they could. No sense in lining up if you can't get on board.

RE: UK/US queue

As a Scandinavian my grasp of US/UK english is far from perfect, and I would be grateful for comments on my understanding as described below.

In my opinion 'queue', also in Scandinavia, will have a wider meaning than 'waiting in line'. Queue discribes a number of people (or items) waiting in an order, but not necessarily one by one, and not necessarily in strict order or without exceptions. Refer also the old (originally french) military use of 'queue' as 'tail' of a military (troop) advancement or withdrawal, indicating some order of a larger group (the tail), but not necessarily a strict order.

In line, again my opinion, will describe people or items (or defined group of items), waiting in a strict order, one by one.

In fabrication you will have the same definition of the two words. A 'queue' of items waiting to be machined could for instance be resorted to give priorities to items to be machined before a larger resetting of tooling machines, to give a more effective production. Resorted in this way the products will 'wait in line'.

RE: UK/US queue

I'm a UK English speaker, and your (Gerhardl's) understanding of the difference doesn't work for me at all - though it might be that way in other parts of the English-speaking world, and that's not only fine, it's part of the fun.

I don't think I heard the term "wait/stand in line" at all until I started reading things written by Americans.

What I did get a lot of at school was "Form a line" or "Line up" - and these were subtly different from queueing up.

If I were to suggest that:

1. A queue may be a linear feature populated by people arranged in order of their time of arrival.

and

2. A line may be a linear feature populated by people who need not be arranged in any order at all, but if there is an order, it is usually something other than arrival time (alphabetical order of surname is a popular sort-key in English schools)

... would that meet with agreement (at least among the UK English speakers among us)?

A.

RE: UK/US queue

(OP)
One of the other distinctions is that queue in UK English is used as much as a verb as it is a noun. Maybe we Brits have done precisely what we moan about Americans doing: turning nouns into verbs?

Agree totally that lining up was something we were often told to do as kids, with no notion of it being anything to do with processing order. More to do with organisation.

- Steve

RE: UK/US queue

I do not see the problem. Is there a problem at all?

Then I start to wonder why I don't see the problem. It must be that I move a lot between languages and hardly get anything right. So queue and line are equal to me. And I remember how impressed I was when I discovered that the French used our Swedish word "kö" [kher] for a waiting line. It took some time before I realized that it was the other way round.

I think that the Germans have a better word for it: Schlange, which means Snake. Then you do not have to think the dog away.

Gunnar Englund
www.gke.org
--------------------------------------
Half full - Half empty? I don't mind. It's what in it that counts.

RE: UK/US queue


Thank you all for comments, helping me grasping some of the details! At least I am not totally left behind, and hopefully I will reach the front someday, but I am still in doubt if I should queue or line up to reach the target! bigsmile

RE: UK/US queue

You could perhaps "snake in" to get there faster?

Gunnar Englund
www.gke.org
--------------------------------------
Half full - Half empty? I don't mind. It's what in it that counts.

RE: UK/US queue

They have to use que, because here in the UK "in line" is almost always used in the context of "in accordance with", such as "Please submit your application in line with following procedure." Every time I hear "in line", I just get this vision of a large number of ducklings...


RE: UK/US queue

Big Inch, are you now situated in the UK, if so you will soon learn that the Brit's "line up" for everything.

It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts. (Sherlock Holmes - A Scandal in Bohemia.)

RE: UK/US queue

Been here a little over a year where, at least in this region, I have only heard them to "Queue, or queue up. "The queue starts here." In fact even at bus stations where a number of people are waiting, but no queue's are visible, everyone is keeping a mental tab of who arrived first. You'd better board the bus according to that order, or you will get more than a few nasty stares, however nobody will actually say anything to you.


RE: UK/US queue

(OP)
The queue in a barbers' shop is similar.

FIFO in operation, using a singly-linked list. When there's more than a few waiting when you get there, all you can really be sure of is either you are the last or who the next one after you is. Unless your memory is really good.

- Steve

RE: UK/US queue

I was used to the Mideast free-for-all at that time.


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